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Unpaid Care Work and Violence Against Women webinar

This webinar was the first of the POWER project international webinar series. It looks at how Unpaid Care is linked to Violence Against Women. Can addressing Unpaid Care Work lead to a reduction in Violence Against Women? Or can attempts to recognise, reduce and redistribute Unpaid Care Work actually be seen as a justifcation for Violence Against Women? Over 40 participants heard presentations on work being done in this area at both ActionAid and Oxfam and then had a chance to input their own experiences and challenges.

Issues that arose in the discussion were around: the need to consider women with disabilities; challenges around social norms; whether Violence Against Women is heightened by the disruption of social norms; how women might be exposed to violence whilst carrying out Unpaid Care Work in the public sphere; the role of the state as a both challenge and a solution and how contextual issues such as rights to mobility can afect women’s ability to enjoy their full rights.

In response to these questions and comments the presenters shared their own experiences. We heard how women with disabilities are included in the ActionAid POWER project, and how social norms, and power and gender dynamics at household and community level are all linked – as well as related public spending. We also heard how the POWER project is taking a two pronged approach: in empowering women to be able to demand their rights and discuss issues (through ActionAid’s Action-Refection methodology); and in doing community sensitisation work to enable these demands and discussions to lead to better results. Related to the role of the state we heard how the Oxfam WEE and Care programme is gathering evidence and developing clear policy asks around gender budgeting and access to services related to Unpaid Care Work. The POWER project will also be contributing to work to ensure that we get wider acknowledgement at reginal and international level (eg the African Union) that care work is an issue, and that is stays on the agenda of policy and decision makers at all levels.

Webinar structure

00:00 – Intro to webinar and related themes

02:25 – Introduction to ActionAid POWER project (Christina Kwangwari, POWER project manager)

07:10 – Presentation on experiences of POWER project from ActionAid Ghana (Azumi Mezuna)

19:45 – Presentation on experiences from Oxfam’s WEE and Care programme Phase 2, which includes findings from new research on the links between UCW, VAWG and social norms (Roselyn Nyatsanza)

38:55 – Questions and feedback